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Muthama, CCU accuse Wiper of using State officials to bribe voters

EASTERN
By Erastus Mulwa | February 15th 2021

UDA chairman Johnstone Muthama addresses the media at a Machakos hotel. [ Erastus Mulwa, Standard]

United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) have protested what they termed an attempt by the National Government to rig the Machakos Senate by-election in favour of the Wiper candidate.

Speaking separately, CCU's secretary-general, Philippe Sadja and UDA chairman Johnstone Muthama claimed the government has been systematically engaging in advance rigging in favour of Wiper’s Agnes Kavindu.

Addressing the media in a Machakos hotel, Muthama warned that UDA will challenge in court the results of any fraudulent election should the wrong candidate be declared the winner through an illegitimate process.

 "We are asking Independent Election and Boundaries Commissions (IEBC) to come out and stop the ongoing electoral malpractices being perpetrated by Wiper through the national Government," said Muthama.

The former Machakos senator who is leading campaigns for the UDA candidate Urbanus Ngengele said he has evidence that provincial administration officials are actively campaigning for Kavindu and presiding over advance voter bribery.

"It has happened at DCC's offices in Matungulu, Kangundo and Yatta. We are calling out IEBC to immediately stop that forthwith," said Muthama.

He said IEBC must ensure all candidates operate in a level playground and vowed to reject results of a fraudulent election.

Muthama’s sentiments were echoed by Sadja, who made similar claims, and vowed the party will officially write a demand letter to IEBC over the same problem.

CCU, which withdrew its candidate last week to support Maendeleo Chap Chap's Mutua Katuku called out provincial administration officials for campaigning for Kavindu.

Sadja said he had compiled enough evidence of active involvement of DCCs, chiefs and their assistants in campaigns.

“It is purely voter bribery. As CCU, we shall be writing officially to IEBC on the same matter. We need to inform the public officers themselves to know that there is a personal liability breaking the law," Sadja said.

He warned that the culture of electoral malpractice perpetuated by successive regimes in the country was solely responsible for bolstering the legitimacy of autocratic regimes.

"While Kenya holds free and regular elections, political elites regularly intimidate opponents, leading to skewed results in of government. This time, we shall not allow it, the people of Machakos County shall decide through the ballot who their Senator shall be," he said.

Sensed defeat

But in a swift rejoinder, Matungulu MP, Stephen Mule who is a close ally of Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka dismissed the claims, saying both UDA and Maendeleo Chap Chap had sensed defeat.

“Those are people who have already sensed defeat because our candidate has been gaining enormous ground in her campaigns. Their claims about our interaction with the National Government is misplaced because as a party, Wiper has no control over what the government does, as well as their programmes,” Mule told Standard Digital over the phone.

The MP said after signing a cooperation agreement with the Jubilee party, Wiper was obliged to work with the government to assist in propelling its development agenda across the country.

“I doubt if MCC and UDA have an agreement with the Jubilee Government. They must stop politicising our cooperation with the ruling party,” he said.

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